A weekly update about upcoming concerts and notes on the local scene.
Help 'em out
Madison said farewell in 2009 to Hammond B3 player Cadillac Joe Andersen, who lost his battle with lymphoma on July 29 after a three-year battle. Over the past decades Andersen played at the first Mifflin Street Block Party with the band Zoom, as well as with avant garde jazzers Nitefaces, the cover band Romeo, the blues act Turnin' Blue and as a sideman with various other performers, including Carey Bell and Tony Monaco. By 1998, some informal basement jams with friends and his son, guitarist Aaron Williams, developed into Cadillac Joe and the Blind Wolf Blues Band, which later morphed into the Cadillac Joe Blues Band.
Williams has gathered friends for the Cadillac Joe Memorial Winter Fest, taking place Saturday, Dec. 26 at the High Noon Saloon. The 8 p.m. concert will be a benefit for the UW Carbone Cancer Center, with performances by Beth Kille, the Jimmys and, in a special tribute to Cadillac Joe, featuring a band including Williams and his Hoodoo bandmate Zac Auner, along with Jimmy Voegeli, Michael Brenneis and with special guests.
Of the chance to play music during the past decade with his father, Williams says, "It was so cool. Most sons don't really like hanging out with their dads when they're 15 years old, but I loved it. He ended up being my best friend, and we had a chance to talk about so many things that I think a lot of fathers and sons don't have a chance to, from family, to life, to the business of music. It was like going to college and your dad was the professor.
"In the eight years we played together I remember getting in one fight with him, and it was about me eating his pistachios -- he loved those nuts! That's how well he and I got along. Even after he got sick we'd still e-mail each other literally everyday for three years until he passed away. That's what hurts the most, above all. I just miss my dad and best friend. I wouldn't trade those days traveling with him for anything in this world."
Hittin' the clubs
Madison blues band The Electric Road Kings will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26, at the Locker Room Sports Bar. The group's core trio includes guitarist Don Rembert, bassist Billy Powell and drummer Rob Corbit Jr. "We have had my dad, Bob Corbit, and Paul Kaye and Charles "Blues Hog" Hayes playing with us pretty regularly," says Rob Corbit.
Hayes and Kaye will be among the special guests Saturday, along with Paul Filipowicz. Corbit says show-goers are likely to hear more surprise guests and perhaps get the chance to make a bit of music as well. "There are always some people who come down to our gigs we invite to sit in when we can! It's always an honor to play with our guests, who drive hours to play for the great crowds we have at the Locker Room and area bars that still are supporting music."
The jammer-friendly nature of the evening makes sense, as the Kings' members have much experience hosting and playing at open jams in local clubs. Rembert is an alumnus of Tate and the Million Dollar Blues Band, a group that hosted jams at O'Cayz Corral and the Anchor Inn; Rob Corbit has also played in Tate's bands over the years. Bassist Billy Powell owned the Anchor and booked music there for a time, and he has played with many rock, blues and country bands over the past couple decades.
"The band is jonesin' to play," says Corbit. "We look forward to playing with Flip, because he doesn't play with us often. And it will rock!"
The address of former live music spot Ken's Bar is now the site of the New Orleans-style tavern and restaurant The Bayou. It has hosted occasional gigs since opening and is now starting a weekly blues jam, every Monday night at 9 p.m. Hosting duties will alternate between the A.J. Love Blues Band (on hand for tonight's jam) and Shari Davis and the Hootchy Kootchy Band, next hosting on Dec. 28.